MiniJambox Bluetooth Speaker Cabinets  

Posted by Christopher W. Geis

I've got a pair of MiniJambox bluetooth speakers: I l

ove them, they're super convenient, they sound great, and with the two of them, I can pair them, and use one as the right speaker, and one as the left.  I like the "graphite facet look"  The color is classy and unobtrusive.  But then I thought, you know what would make these even better?  Custom wooden cabinets, that's what.

I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do for a design, but I liked the look of a leftover side from a coaster holder I had made, and decided the easiest thing was to just scale up that design with few tweaks, and see how it looked, and I really like the result.

After making (and breaking) one of the cases, I adjusted the design a bit, partially to tweak the dimensions to avoid breaking the next one, and partially because a few elements of the design ended up a little too thin.  Plus, I had decided that I didn't really like just having a cutout in the top for the buttons; I wanted to see if I could make inset wooden buttons.

Front view, aspen version

Here you can see plys in the plywood, as the various
grain directions get burned by the laser a little differently
To do that, I added a filled rectangle to the cut file, and had the laser raster that portion at relatively high power, and ran it for two passes.  This resulted in a roughly 1/8" inset.  This gives enough room for the wooden buttons to sit on top of the original buttons, with a bit of extra for the lip that keep them from falling through the hole.

Left side
I'd planned to add an engraving, either to the
Rectangular cut-out allows access to the side buttons and ports
buttons or to the top of the case to mark which button was which, but didn't ever get around to it.  I also considered giving the three buttons a different top shape to make them distinct to to the touch, but in the end I decided to leave them identical, at least until I proved that the idea was going to work.

The laser cut has a slight angle to the edge, so I usually prefer the "cut" side as the outer surface.  This meant that I had to run the cut operation on the top piece in vector only mode,  flip the piece, and run the raster operation, with all the vector colors set to zero passes. This let me have the rastered out rectangle line up very closely with the rest of the part.  It wasn't exact.  You can see small, light edge around the button holes where I had to break off a very thin remnant of wood.

Here you can see the leather pieces I glued to the bottom to keep
the case from buzzing against the surface it was sitting on
The two are made of different materials: the first one is made from 1/4" aspen board, like a lot of what I've cut on the laser, and the second is from a piece of 1/4" hobby-grade plywood I bought at Mendards.  Both came out looking very nice, although I only remembered to engrave my signature on the bottom piece for the plywood version.

The plywood cabinet is a little heavier than the aspen and a bit sturdier.  I'll probably make a second one of these and replace the aspen one.

In order to get them to fit snugly together, I added 0.5mm triangles to the tabs on the front, back, top and bottom pieces, then filed these down until the taps would slide into the slots with just a bit of resistance.  This allows the cases to be held together by friction alone, but I can still take them apart without breaking anything.  This is helped by the fact that the Jawbone logo is slightly raised on the front, giving the front piece a bit of pressure on the sides, but not enough to cause a noticeable curve. I also designed the slots as if I was working with materials that were perfectly 6mm thick.  Since both the aspen and the plywood are slightly over 6mm, this meant I had to file out the slots a bit for a proper fit, but adds  a bit more friction to the fit.

I designed them so you can still stand them up vertically if you want, although the raised wooden buttons throw of the symmetry a bit.

One speaker in its usual spot atop my armoir

And the other in its usual place on my nightstand.

And sometimes it just ends up over in the corner, so I don't have to go all the way around the bed to turn it o

This entry was posted on February 13, 2016 at Saturday, February 13, 2016 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


You are so cool!!!!

February 14, 2016 at 1:17 PM

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